Chelsea Fringe: three gardens worth a gander


Take a stroll this bank holiday weekend to some intriguing pop-ups across the neighbourhood



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Inspired by the landscape paintings of Monet and Renoir: the Garden in Provence at St Pancras. Photo: PR
The green-fingered amongst you will be thrilled to hear that there are no less than three temporary bucolic spaces appearing this weekend as part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival.

First off? A colourful boozy herb garden on the corner of Kentish Town Road and Islip Street, which sets up stall tomorrow for two days. It’s a long overdue collaboration between K-Town’s “secret” garden centre Boma and nearby boozer the Oxford.

Fiona Campbell makes abstract woven and welded sculptural forms from recycled and found materials such as steel, copper, and wire.
Fiona Campbell makes abstract woven and welded sculptural forms from recycled and found materials such as steel, copper, and wire. Photo: PR

Passers-by –  in between picking up some spring lamb at Harry’s, or a baguette from Le Moulin – will be able to sample herbal cocktails and get free advice on growing herbs and edible plants. “The aim is,” says Boma’s Sarah Rose Dunn, “to showcase how anyone can garden – no matter what space they have.” Oh, and Fortess Road ice cream parlour Ruby Violet will be on hand with a van, too.

Meanwhile, down in St Pancras – take a stroll there via the canal – it’s worth checking out a jardin that will, say the organisers, “transport visitors to the magnificent French countryside.”


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Located on the second floor opposite the John Betjeman statue, it’s called Garden in Provence and, created by Clifton Nurseries, is inspired by the masterpieces of Monet and Renoir. Expect the wafting aromas of lavender, jasmine and rosemary – and even the feel of fine gravel underfoot. Not bad for a side room in the windy grandeur of St Pancras station itself.

Finally, climb up Haverstock Hill to lofty Belsize Park for what’s billed “the smallest outdoor sculpture gallery in the UK.” A lushly planted private garden houses seven artists whose pieces are, we hear, “durable, able to withstand British weather conditions, appropriately scaled for smaller gardens and affordably priced.”

Now all we need is – sob! – a tiny pocket of green space to call our own.

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The Chelsea Fringe runs until June 7. More details here. Boma garden is open on Fri/Sat 23/24 May. The Garden in Provence runs until Saturday 31st May, between 9am and 5pm at St Pancras International. The Hidden Garden Art Show is at 17 Belsize Lane NW3 until June 8. All are free

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